|Location of Discovery ||Shaker Heights, OH |
|Question ||Recently I noticed a flock of robins (I counted about 30) near the Rapid Station at Shaker Square. My friend also noticed them on No Moreland Blvd. Jacqueline Gerber (WCLV 104.9 FM) also spotted them about 6am and commented on this on her radio program. I was curious why they were still here, why so many. I did research a blog put out by Duncraft's of New England-it says it’s not uncommon. Shaker Square does have berry trees planted-so I wondered if they were dining on those, or perhaps an avian amie was feeding them. Any thoughts on the matter? |
American robins (Turdus migratorius
) are present in Ohio year-round. I examined my 2015 birding data for Cuyahoga County and confirmed that robins were observed all 12 months. During winter months, individuals from the American robin population can migrate as far south as Florida. To note, the individuals that you are observing at Shaker Square may in fact be from any number of Canadian provinces. The robins cross over the Great Lakes this time of year, moving southward from Canada into a slightly more temperate climate. The phenomenon ultimately creates a lull in our local population size. We observe less robins and more infrequently too. When we do observe them during the winter months, they are often in larger groups foraging on fruit-bearing shrubs and trees. Conversely, our American robin population explodes in the warmer months.
This migratory pattern is not unique to American robins, but actually repeats itself among other birds as well, e.g., American crow, American goldfinch, and Canada goose. Many species have a variable diet. The change in food preference allows the animal to stay longer throughout the year, but only up until a certain point. Often, their diet may be completely eliminated or the animal itself cannot tolerate the extremes. The ecology of all this is fascinating!